Jewelry Heist at Cannes Straight From Hollywood

Lionel Cironneau/AP Photo

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller: while a fancy jewelry company is hosting a ball at the Cannes Festival, thieves break into a company employees' hotel room and steal $1 million worth of jewelry.

But this story is real. It happened in Cannes overnight.

A representative of Chopard, the Swiss-based watch and jewellery company, left the stash in the safe in his room at the Novotel Hotel in Cannes while he attended a late-night gala at a much fancier hotel across town. When he returned, thieves had ripped a safe from the wall of his room.

Police are still trying to determine exactly what was inside, but they say the contents were likely Chopard jewels to be loaned to A-list celebrities as they walked the festival's red carpet surrounded by a phalanx of eager photographers. Actress Julianne Moore has already been seen on the Cannes red carpet sporting gems from Chopard.

French police say the Chopard gala ran till 5 a.m. They believe the burglary happened around 2.30 a.m. The time suggests the thieves - they do not believe this was a solo job - knew exactly what they were doing.

In another twist worthy of Hollywood, a film with a similar plot had just been screened at Cannes. Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" is about celebrity-obsessed teenagers in Los Angeles who follow movie stars online and break into their homes while they are at public events. The film is based on a real gang of teens who broke into the home Paris Hilton and other stars.

Chopard doesn't just make jewels. They also make the Oscar-like trophies for the Cannes film festival, the crystal and gold Palme d'Or.

Festival officials say the Palmes are safe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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